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Teddy Bridgewater: NFL QBs Don't Get a 'Chance to be a Rookie' Nowadays

With quarterbacks from the draft taking the NFL by storm each year fresh out of the box, the learning curve and benefit of the doubt for rookies has shrunk.

Apart from the Week 2 opening touchdown drive relinquished to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Denver Broncos defense completely dominated the highly-touted rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Next up on the schedule, the Broncos get to face off against the highest-drafted player not-named Lawrence this year in New York Jets' QB Zack Wilson. 

The No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Wilson is attempting to bounce back from throwing four interceptions in the Jets' loss to the New England Patriots last week. Broncos Country isn’t that far removed from making impassioned pleas for new GM George Paton to select a quarterback at pick No. 9. 

Had Teddy Bridgewater not played so impressively in back-to-back games to open this season, fans would likely still be pining for Justin Fields in Chicago.

Such is the fickle and increasingly toxic nature of the NFL. Rookies find themselves facing more abundant challenges than ever before. Bridgewater might only be 28 years old, but he's a player who's been through the grinder and lived to tell the tale.

Teddy knows how the modern NFL only adds to the complications of playing quarterback. 

“The most difficult part is you don’t really get a chance to be a rookie in this era. It was the same when I came into the league,” Bridgewater confessed. “I talked to a guy like [Former Saints QB] Drew [Brees], who, when he entered the league, he didn’t have social media, the internet dogging you for every little thing. You were protected a little more.”

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As much as the social media circus can get to inexperienced signal-callers, Broncos' Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons believes that it’s the step up to a whole new world of expertise and complexities that causes so many problems for rookie passers in the NFL.

“When you’re playing in the NFL, it’s just a lot different. I don’t really know how else to explain it other than that. It’s just a lot different,” Simmons explained on Thursday. “It could be a little bit harder when you’re not used to seeing the types of looks, the types of pressures, and the type of athleticism that guys can bring to the defensive side of the football. It just ends up being a lot different and it takes time to adjust.”

If Bridgewater continues to play at his current level, the Broncos might not be forced to scan the collegiate ranks for a rookie quarterback next year. 

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.

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